Depardieu ‘was trying to pee into bottle’ on delayed flight

France's best-known film star Gerard Depardieu insisted on Wednesday he had been trying to urinate discreetly into a bottle when he splashed a plane's carpet and caused a flight delay, friends said.

Depardieu 'was trying to pee into bottle' on delayed flight
Thore Siebrands

Depardieu was caught short on a Paris to Dublin flight and relieved himself on the cabin floor in front of shocked passengers, a witness and the airline said Wednesday.  

But a friend of the actor disputed the account, claiming that the 62-year-old bon vivant had been trying to urinate into a bottle and was “mortified” to cause a spillage.  

The plane taxied back to the terminal and Depardieu was escorted off the flight by ground crew without incident.  

“I will only confirm that he, in effect, urinated in the plane,” a Paris spokeswoman for Air France-KLM, parent company of CityJet, operator of the Tuesday flight from Charles de Gaulle that was delayed by the incident.  

A passenger told Europe 1 radio Depardieu was visibly inebriated and tried to stand up before take-off, declaring: “I want to piss. I want to piss.”  

A stewardess asked the well-loved celebrity — who was on his way to Ireland to play comic book warrior Asterix’s huge sidekick Obelix in a film adaptation — to wait 15 minutes until after the seat-belt lights were put out.  

“And there and then he stood up and did it on the floor. We could see he had been drinking. The stewardess was dumbfounded,” the witness said.  

But friends of the “mortified” star, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said he had told them he was “absolutely not drunk” but had been caught short and forced to pee into a bottle as privately as possible.  

They confirmed the witness’ account that the stewardess had asked him to wait 15 minutes before the toilets would be opened, and said he had agreed, but added that the flight had then been delayed a further 20 minutes.  

A flying companion, fellow actor Edouard Baer, had therefore offered him an empty bottle to ease his aching bladder.  

When some urine spilled onto the floor, Depardieu was mortified and offered to clean it up himself, but the crew decided to turn round and taxi back to the terminal and have him escorted off the jet by ground crew, they explained.  

“No charges were brought and no fine was imposed, and he had the impression that his position about the misunderstanding and the inflexible attitude of the stewardess had been understood by those he spoke to,” one added.  

The source added Depardieu had been able take the next flight to Dublin.  

“The passenger refused to remain in his seat. It was the captain’s decision it was best to return the plane to the stand,” a CityJet spokeswoman said, adding the flight was delayed for one hour and 15 minutes.  

She said the passenger did not appear to the crew to be drunk. Police were initially called, but he was escorted from the plane by ground crew.  

While the spokeswoman attempted to be discreet, refusing to confirm the culprit’s identity and speaking only of an “incident on board”, her firm CityJet made fun of Depardieu on its public Twitter account.  

“As you may have seen on the news, we are busy mopping the floor of one of our planes this morning,” the company joked in one message on the popular microblogging site.  

Later, it added: “We’d also like to remind all passengers that our planes are fully equipped with toilet facilities.” 

CityJet said the messages were meant to “poke fun” and “were done this morning in a humorous way. In no way do they reflect an official message.”  

Depardieu is perhaps the best known face in French cinema, having appeared in almost 200 films, and is best known abroad as the star of the 1990 literary epic “Cyrano de Bergerac” and the US romantic comedy “Green Card”.  

He is a successful winemaker and restaurateur but in 1990 was convicted of drunk driving. His behaviour has been criticised in the past, notably when he headbutted a press photographer, but he is still a well-loved public figure.

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French films with English subtitles to watch in November

As days get shorter and temperatures drop, November is a great month to enjoy a warm and comforting moment at the cinema. Here’s a round up of the French movies with English subtitles to see in Paris this month.

Cinema in France
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

The cinema group Lost in Frenchlation runs regular screenings of French films in the capital, with English subtitles to help non-native speakers follow the action. The club kicks off every screening with drinks at the cinema’s bar one hour before the movie, so it’s also a fun way to meet people if you’re new to Paris.

These are the events they have coming up in November.

Friday, November 5th

Boîte Noire – What happened on board the Dubai-Paris flight before it crashed in the Alps? In this thriller Matthieu, a young and talented black box analyst played by Pierre Niney (star of Yves Saint-Laurent among other movies) is determined to solve the reason behind this deadly crash, no matter the costs. 

The screening will take place at the Club de l’étoile cinema at 8pm. But you can arrive early for drinks at the bar from 7pm. 

Tickets are €10 full price, €8 for students and all other concessions, and can be reserved here.

Sunday, November 14th

Tralala – In the mood for music? This new delightful French musical brings you into the life of Tralala (played by Mathieu Amalric), a 48 years old, homeless and worn-out street singer, who one day gets mistaken for someone else. Tralala sees an opportunity to get a better life by taking on a new personality. He now has a brother, nephews, ex-girlfriends, and maybe even a daughter. But where is the lie? Where is the truth? And who is he, deep down?

The night will start with drinks from 6pm followed by the screening at 7pm at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema. There is also a two-hour cinema-themed walk where you’ll be taken on a “musicals movie tour” in the heart of Paris, which begins at 4pm.

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here. Tickets for the walking tour cost €20 and must be reserved online here.

Thursday, November 18th

Illusions Perdues – Based on the great novel series by Honoré de Balzac between 1837 and 1843, this historical drama captures the writer Lucien’s life and dilemmas who dreams about a great career of writing and moves to the city to get a job at a newspaper. As a young poet entering the field of journalism, he is constantly challenged by his desire to write dramatic and eye-catching stories for the press. But are they all true?

The evening will kick off with drinks at L’Entrepôt cinema bar at 7pm, followed by the movie screening at 8pm. Tickets are available online here, and cost €8.50 full price; €7 for students and all other concessions.

Sunday, November 21st

Eiffel – Having just finished working on the Statue of Liberty, Gustave Eiffel (played by Romain Duris) is tasked with creating a spectacular monument for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. It’s ultimately his love story with Adrienne Bourgès (Emma Mackey) that will inspire him to come up with the idea for the Eiffel Tower.

After a first screening last month, Lost in Frenchlation is organising a new one at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema, with pre-screening drinks at the cinema bar. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here

Thursday, November 25th

Les Héroïques – Michel is a former junkie and overgrown child who only dreams of motorbikes and of hanging out with his 17-year-old son Léo and his friends. But at 50 years old, he now has to handle the baby he just had with his ex, and try not to make the same mistakes he has done in the past. 

The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director Maxime Roy who will discuss his very first feature. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here.

Full details of Lost in Frenchlation’s events can be found on their website or Facebook page. In France, a health pass is required in order to go to the cinema.